Letters to the Editor

The Green Team

Dear Editor,
It was great to see your story on Pamela Coxson and her campaign via bicycle for a seat on the SF School Board in the February Tube Times issue. But we were surprised that you didn't note that Coxson ran as a California Green Party candidate.

Greens and the SFBC have been on the same side of efforts to prevent the construction of a garage in Golden Gate Park and the rebuilding of the Central Freeway. The Green Party platform details a transportation policy that emphasizes mass transit over cars and trucks. We want more bike lanes, traffic calming, auto-free zones, and reduced car dependency. We advocate free community bicycle fleets and a moratorium on highway widenings.

Granted, these issues didn't really factor in the school board race, but we'd like the SFBC members who aren't already Greens to know about the party and the kind of candidate we're proud to run. I'm not sure what the other parties have in writing about clean transit, but the rejection of the Bike Network last summer speaks volumes.

Anyone who's interested in getting in touch with the SF Green Party can call 415-905-4212. Let's hope both our organizations have a great year and can work together to make the streets more livable!

Hal Looby
Matt Spencer
San Francisco

Reporting Accidents

Dear Editor,
Call it Karma - literally. I was delinquent in renewing my SFBC membership, and then I got into a bike accident. As I lay in bed healing, I reread the July '98 issue of the Tube Times, and wished I'd read it more carefully the first time around.

Here's what happened. I was riding at a good clip down Folsom Street. Just before 7th Street, a double-parked truck in front of Julie's Supper Club obstructed the bike lane. I passed it on the left, and when I reentered the bike lane a VW van turned sharply into the next driveway, coming within inches of hitting me. I slammed on my brakes and endo'ed on the pavement. The driver apologized and admitted that he only saw me when my back wheel went up in the air.

I was in shock, crying and shaking, and although I knew my knee was hurt, I denied that anything was wrong. I insisted that I was OK. When the police came, they asked how I was, and I gave my traumatized mantra, "I'm OK, I'm OK." I am fine now, although my knee is still healing, and I can't ride yet. But now I'm kicking myself for not getting a police report. The police should have known that I was shaken up, and they should have followed standard accident procedure and made a report.

I don't mean to dump my frustration on others, but I wanted to share my story and some of the things I've learned. Most importantly, be assertive. Assert your rights for information and a police report. It can be hard in the heat of the moment when you're not thinking clearly after being hit, but if you keep it in your mind, you could be more prepared emotionally. You can feel empathy for the driver, but even if you're not going to press charges, it's good to scare some awareness into people who get behind the wheel that they are sharing the road.

SFBC, thanks for all the good work you're doing. You are truly making a positive impact on our community and our future. Our numbers are increasing all the time!

Nadia Khastagir
San Francisco

The Tube Times welcomes your Letters to the Editor. Mail letters to The Tube Times, SFBC, 1095 Market Street, Suite 215, San Francisicso, CA 94103, or email them to shahum@sfbike.org. We reserve the right to edit for space. And if you are leery of preaching to the converted, remember we distribute newsletters to more than 2,000 nonmembers each month.